EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Global value chains, firms, and wage inequality: Evidence from China

Wenxiao Wang, Shandre Thangavelu and Faqin Lin ()

China Economic Review, 2021, vol. 66, issue C

Abstract: How does participating or moving to more upstream in the global value chains (GVCs) affect the premium paid to skilled compared to unskilled labor within firms? In this paper, we develop a model of heterogeneous firms with intermediate trade and two skill inputs, in which we apply the fair wage hypothesis to predict the wage premium changes according to firms' GVCs activities. The model predicts that firms' backward GVC participation, as measured by the share of foreign value-added content in exports (FVAR), has an ambiguous impact on wage inequality of skills, which depends on the relative importance of “FVAR-labor substitution effect” and “FVAR-profit effect.” However, moving to upstream sectors in GVCs, as measured by the export varieties' upstreamness (or average distance from final use), raises a firm's wage premium. Using detailed Chinese firm-level data from 2000 to 2006, we develop a Mincer-type empirical model to study the wage premium changes associated with FVAR and upstreamness. We find robust empirical evidence that the rise of wage inequality in China mainly arises from moving to more upstream sectors rather than changing GVC participation.

Keywords: Global value chains; Firm heterogeneity; FVAR; Upstreamness; Wage inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F12 F16 F66 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043951X21000031
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:chieco:v:66:y:2021:i:c:s1043951x21000031

DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2021.101585

Access Statistics for this article

China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

More articles in China Economic Review from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

 
Page updated 2021-10-11
Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:66:y:2021:i:c:s1043951x21000031